We've already revealed our most anticipated PC exclusives of 2018, but PC also has an added bonus in that it's pretty much the only place where you can play a proper strategy game. 2018 is absolutely loaded with them as well, whether you're a fan of dino management, all-out warfare, or painstakingly planning your train track routes.
I mean, what more really needs to be said about Age of Empires. The quintessential PC game, the series has been sorely missed for the past decade. At long last Microsoft has caved into our demands and promised us Age of Empires IV. It’s in the (usually) capable hands of Relic who, barring that unfortunate Dawn of War 3 slip-up, have delivered some strategy greats. Details of AoE4 are few and far between, but truth be told we’d be happy with same history-spanning gameplay with all the 2018 graphical bells and whistles.
Blue Byte’s fast running out of years for its Anno series, this time stepping in history for the first time in a while with Anno 1800. This time around it’s set in the Victorian era, during the time of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a period of rapid change that lends itself well to Anno 1800, forcing players to adapt alongside a rapidly evolving technological and political landscape.
I said a year ago that my dream game would be a Jurassic Park management sim by the devs behind Planet Coaster. Somewhere out there, there is a reptilian god with tiny arms looking over me. Frontier has proved itself a dab hand at theme parks already, and layering on dinosaur theme parks to the formula for Jurassic World Evolution just sounds like a DNA helix made in heaven.
Iron Harvest first came to our attention purely because of that gobsmacking concept art pumped out by Polish wizard Jakub Rozalski. Just Google his name to see exactly what I mean, it’s just something else. Iron Harvest is set in alternate history dieselpunk Poland during the 1920s. Mankind has been busy creating ever more powerful diesel driven machines, including giant walking mechs, with three warring factions competition for power in Eastern Europe.
Back in the day, Railroad Tycoon was where you ended up after you’d graduated from Theme Park and Theme Hospital. Altogether more complex, and yet supremely relaxing, there’s a certain satisfaction to connecting the cogs of a railway line and watching it run like clockwork. I’m pretty sure that’s not how First Great Western feels on a typical Friday morning though. Anyway, before I digress too far, Railway Empire is as near-as-dammit to a spiritual successor. It features more than 100 years of locomotive history, 40 different trains and 300 different technologies to unlock as players ensure their sweeping rail network can service the country with ease.